TAHLEQUAH — Instead, Terrance Dixon — who added 79 yards on 20 carries — logged the RiverHawks' final score of the day on a 2-yard run with 5:10 left.
By that point, the game was well in hand.
While avoiding the program's first nine-game losing streak since 2004, the RiverHawks (1-8, 1-7 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) tightened up on defense when they needed to against Southwest Baptist (1-8, 1-7 MIAA). The Bearcats finished with 371 yards on offense — 115 of those to wide receiver Derwyn Lauderdale on 12 catches — but very few of those yards came on third down or inside NSU's red zone.
Southwest Baptist was brutal on third-down conversions, picking up two first downs on 16 attempts. The Bearcats were also one out of three on red zone trips — one ending on a missed field goal and the other on a failed fourth-down attempt from the 10-yard line.
"Defense had a great day," Evans said. "...(Stopping them on third downs) is the sign of a team starting to grow up and do some things right, because it's tough to hold them when they get great field position and get down in the red zone."
Spearheading NSU's defensive effort was linebacker Langston Jones, who finished with a team-high 16 tackles, in addition to four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two pass break-ups, two quarterback hurries and a half sack.
"Anytime you hold an offense to no scoring, it feels good," said Jones, whose team held an opponent without a touchdown since shutting out Bacone in 2011. "That means everyone is doing their jobs...and we knuckled down in the red zone and held them."